US democracy under threat

By Mitchell Blatt
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 8, 2022
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The U.S. Capitol dome in Washington, D.C., on June 28, 2022. [Photo/]

A new survey found that 72% of Americans feel U.S. democracy is under threat. The poll, commissioned by CBS News and YouGov, found that the influence of money in politics, political violence, attempts to overturn election results, and the disenfranchisement of citizens are the leading threats to democracy perceived by Americans. Only 29% feel that democracy is secure.

YouGov began surveying in January 2021, shortly after losing presidential candidate Donald Trump incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol to pressure Congress to let him remain in power. At the time, 71% of Americans believed democracy was in danger. The number has remained the same since then.

The threat is real. Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election by over 7 million total votes and 74 electoral votes. It was not a close election. Yet Donald Trump has continued to falsely claim that he won the election. Leading Republican politicians have supported his claim and assisted him in his efforts to retain power.

In the upcoming Congressional elections, 260 Republican candidates, nearly half of those running for a seat, believe that Trump won. When the election doesn't go their way, they won't accept it. But if they win, as the Republican Party is expected to, they will demand that the results of their victory are accepted. 

The January 6 riots combined two threats facing democracy: violence and an attempt to overturn the election results. The lie that Trump won the election fuels greater violence. On October 28, 2022, a right-wing Trump supporter broke into the home of House Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi in an attempt to kidnap her. Nancy Pelosi was not home, but the invader attacked her husband with a hammer. The attacker published a blog where he expressed his opinion that the 2020 election had been stolen and that anyone who disagreed with the stolen election conspiracy theory should be shot.

Republicans are trying to put new laws in place to make it easier for them to overturn and steal elections in the future. They have dissolved boards of elections and created new ones stacked with Trump supporters so that they can manipulate the results of future elections. They have attempted to change the law so that state legislatures can decide to whom to assign the state's electoral votes, regardless of who won the most votes of the state's citizens. That would effectively deny the people a voice.

How can Americans trust the results of their elections if their politicians lie about who won?

The other reasons why democracy is under threat are nearly as concerning. For example, 86% of Americans believe money's influence in politics is too great. Corporations and lobbyists are trying to change the law to enrich themselves and spend billions of dollars to elect their favored candidates. That means the candidates listen to the corporations, not the people, and laws are written to benefit corporations at the expense of ordinary people. 

In the 2020 election, $14 billion was spent on the presidential and Congressional races. Most of that came from wealthy donors, corporate-funded PACs, organizations, and wealthy candidates who used their own money to buy elections. 

Some companies donated to PACs, funding both parties in the same race. In other words, regardless of who won, they would be beholden to the same special interests.

On November 9, the results of the next elections for America's legislature will be tallied. Will the process go smoothly? It is hard to be confident.

Mitchell Blatt is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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